“It’s a Matter of Finding a Cultural Community” Polish Migrants and the Welsh Language

From Planet 235

by Karolina Rosiak

Karolina Rosiak interviews Polish people about the Welsh language, and identifies what has motivated them to learn or discouraged them from doing so. She offers concrete proposals more broadly for how the Welsh Government and language providers can enable more migrants and refugees to learn the language.

In 2017 the Welsh Government published Cymraeg 2050: A Million Welsh Speakers which sets out measures to increase the numbers and daily users of the Welsh language. In the strategy, the Government recognises the importance of new speakers of all ages – i.e. people who learn the language outside family transmission – to achieve their target number. At the same time, Cymdeithas Yr Iaith have been calling for free Welsh lessons for speakers of other languages. Taking into consideration the flow of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in to Wales, it is certainly worth considering investing resources into encouraging those incomers to learn both languages of Wales and facilitating their acquisition of Welsh. What have been the experiences of Polish migrants with regard to the Welsh language?

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